Thousands of people including chiefs from the Akyem Bosome, Kotoku and Abuakwa traditional areas have demonstrated here against the former President John Dramani Mahama for alleged making tribal comments against the Akyems.
According to them, the former president have described them as “Sakawa” and made other derogatory comments about them.
They described such tribal comments as unfortunate and a recipe for the destruction of the peace and unity among tribes in the country, and hence called on former President Mahama to retract his statement within 72 hours or face the consequences.
Clad in red and black and holding placards they matched through the principal streets of Asamankese singing and chanting war songs amidst firing of warning shots.
Some of the placards read “Let’s be decent in our politics,” “Mahama stop these insults,” “JM Ghana deserves better from you,” “Akyems saved Ghana,” “We need peace in Ghana now,” among others.
Reading a statement issued during the demonstration, the spokesperson of the Concerned Citizens of Okyeman, Mr Archibald Ntiri Acquah, described Mr Mahama’s comments as unsavory, reckless and incendiary.
“The comments made against the chiefs and people of the three Akyem states by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, endorsed, repeated, defended and justified by the former president and leader of the NDC, Mr John Mahama, describing Akyems as ‘Sakawa Boys’ has now become a tag to ridicule,” he said
Mr Acquah said recently, Mr Mahama and the NDC had tried in vain to sow seeds of confusion between Okyeman and Asanteman but did not succeed and has for all these years that Akufo-Addo has led the NPP deliberately incited ethnic groups against Akyems.
He continued “the Concerned Citizens of Akyem Abuakwa, Bosome and Kotoku organised this protest upon the request of thousands of our people who have sent appeals reminding us of our duty to respond to the dust and garbage thrown on the face of Okyeman by Mr Mahama.”
Mr Acquah added that on several occasions, the former president and some members of the NDC including the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NDC, Kwame Zu and former Eastern Regional Chairman of the NDC, Tawiah Boateng among others have made derogatory comments about the people of Akyem.
“The NDC should stop seeking to win power by tearing apart the beautiful and harmonious multi-ethnic fabric of our nation,” he stated.
He said that “Sakawa” is used in local parlance to describe blood rituals, occultism, cyber fraud, greed and violence, adding that such comments against Akyems must be condemned because they are not.
“We the Concerned Citizens of Akyem call on the elders of the NDC to advice Mr Mahama to apologise unconditionally to the entire citizens of the three Akyem States within 72 hours and pledge not to make such derogatory statements in the future,” Mr Acquah said
He said failure to comply would cause all Akyems to prevent Mr Mahama and the NDC from campaigning in any of the three Akyem states.
Barima Asuokwasi Mensah Bediako III, Anum Asamankesehene who spoke to the Ghanaian Times said Okyeman is not happy with the former President’s comments and asked him to retract and apologise to them.
The Convenor of Okyeman Youth for Development, Nana Yaw Asem said the former President in so many instances have made derogatory statements against the Akyems, adding that such comments should not come from the calibre of a former President who was a role model to many.
He noted that such tribal comments sparked war in other African countries calling on the former president to retract his statement.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, ASAMANKESE